With such a large amount of time invested into training it's important to set goals and have a clear image in your head of where you want to go and what you want to achieve. Setting goals based on the following S.M.A.R.T principle is a great starting point.
Be specific about your goals. For example achiveing a specific time in a race or completing a certain distance.
Make the goal measureable. For example running 10-miles in 90-minutes.
Make sure your goals are attainable. When just starting out it might be hard to set an attainable goal so seek advice from others and set a realistic target, which is challenging but not out of reach.
Goals should be result oriented, so write them down to be reviewed. Written goals also serve as inspiration to push through the tough stages of training on dark cold nights or when you just don't feel like training. Put them up in a clearly visible place such as your fridge door.
Limiting your goal to a specific time period is easier for running than other sports as often your goal will relate to event day. Setting a clear time scale for your goals is a great way to tick them off as you go and give you a finish line before moving on to your next target.
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